Release date: November 8, 2011
As I Lay Dying have consistently been at the top of the metalcore genre and they are one of the few bands that actually seem to be getting better over time, which is apparently a hard feat to accomplish here in the sell-out age. After five successful full-length albums over the last ten years, they seem to be on top of their game. AILD are currently touring with Of Mice & Men, The Ghost Inside, Iwrestledabearonce and Sylosis on “A Decade of Destruction” tour. The band’s latest release, the ten-year commemorative compilation album, Decas, debuted at #61 on the Billboard 200.
While this is their least consistent album to date (in terms of material), I do like the direction the album starts off in. The first three tracks, “Paralyzed,” “From Shapeless to Breakable” and “Moving Forward,” are all new original songs and there’s nothing you would not expect from the band. Heavy and brutal, they come at you in wave after wave of pure beatdown metal. Tim Lambesis’ energy is evident in his growls, Jordan Mancino is sensational pounding on the skins and the guitar work is blistering.
As far as the covers go, they aren’t bad. Covers of Slayer‘s “War Ensemble” and Judas Priest‘s “Electric Eye” are the high points here. “Hellion” is essentially just a 44 second intro for “Electric Eye”. The band shot a somewhat humorous video for this one (which can be viewed below). The cover of “Coffee Mugs” by punk rockers, Descendents, while also around 40 seconds, is a nice addition.
After the covers, the band breaks into a re-recorded medley from their first album, Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes. And then, seemingly as quickly as it started, the metal ends and you’re whisked away to a club full of strobe and laser light action, hipsters and…dubstep. The fact that Lambesis is growling in the background quickly gets lost among the bass drops. It only gets worse from there with dance mixes, the likes of which you will hear in any dance club. If you’re a fan of dubstep and techno/trance/electronica you may like these mixes. But it’s not metal. It has no place on a metal album.
It’s hard to tell exactly what the band’s intentions were with this album. For a ten-year commemorative album I expected more and I was a little shocked to see them venture into the world of dubstep and dance remixes. Once you go down that road, you can’t undo it. Fans will remember it and possibly be wary when the next album comes out. But overall, this is a decent release, certainly worth listening to the new material and covers.
1. “Paralyzed” 3:04
2. “From Shapeless to Breakable” 2:44
3. “Moving Forward” 3:42
4. “War Ensemble” (originally by Slayer) 4:50
5. “Hellion” (originally by Judas Priest) 0:44
6. “Electric Eye” (originally by Judas Priest) 3:45
7. “Coffee Mug” (originally by Descendents) 0:40
8. “Beneath the Encasing of Ashes” (re-recorded medley) 3:57
9. “The Blinding of False Light” (Innerpartysystem remix) 4:18
10. “Wrath Upon Ourselves” (Ben Weinman remix) 2:25
11. “Confined” (Kelly “Carnage” Cairns remix) 3:51
12. “Elegy” (Big Chocolate remix) 4:20